By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and Third, by experience, which is bitterest.”
2017 has been an incredible year in so many ways. Incredible due to personal and professional achievements; as well as incredible due to some of the challenges that came up. I find myself at the end of the year utterly exhausted; mentally, physically, and emotionally drained, knowing that there are going to be some big events in 2018.
This year I secured a permanent full-time job with ClickView, which brought with it some security and stability, something that had been lacking over the last few years with twelve-month job-share contracts at my school, and which the birth of my daughter late last year increased the stress-levels around. Having that security and stability helped immensely and Mrs C21 and I feel less-stressed as a result.
What else happened this year?
This last week we had our end of year internal conference, Christmas Party etc. and my counterparts in the other states, as well as some our support people, all came together to receive our debrief from the Hogan Assessments. This was very interesting and as a group we shared many laughs as different personality traits were confirmed, others were a surprise to the group and certain personality traits started to make sense. If you have never heard of the Hogan Assessments, you can more about them on this page.
Personally, I found that it was pretty well spot on for me. There were a few results that I was surprised by, but which made sense when they were explained in more detail than just the report. There were a few things which were also quite concerning and, if I am being completely honest, rather depressing. One of the sections was about strengths that can become weaknesses and in that section my results were actually quite depressing in that they were spot on for me and confirmed something I had slowly been coming to realise and acknowledge. I am a generally an introverted person and prefer my own company to crowds or talking to strangers.
This highlighted, thought, that it was far worse than I thought. It was actually quite depressing, and when I showed Mrs C21 she said that she has been trying to get that across to me for a while but has not known how. And in a move completely in line with what the report highlighted, after we had finished the debriefing as a group, I asked the consultant providing the debrief, Peter Berry, a few questions and quietly left the office to go out and get some lunch away from everyone, despite there being quite a good spread of food provided for the office that day.
Interestingly, most of my colleagues were surprised at the...severity(?) of my results as they all said they would never have picked which actually made me rather proud of myself at how well I hide it, but also reinforces the old adage that the loudest and most outgoing ones are sometimes the ones who need support the most.
Mrs C21 and I had a long conversation about the results and what it means for me as a professional, as a father, and as a husband (she will be completing the same assessments and we will have a joint debrief with Peter in the new year as well). Peter said, when asked how long the reports are valid for, that typically five years, however, life changes such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, as well as an active effort to focus on and change personality traits can cause the results to change. I realised earlier this term that I had been getting worse; more reserved/insular/reclusive for a while.
Accordingly, my goal for 2018 on a personal development level, is to take steps to try and reverse that trend despite knowing how uncomfortable it will be. I went to a concert (Muse) last weekend with a friend. I think that is the first time, since I went out to dinner with some friends in Canberra while I was there for work back in September, that I have been out with a friend without there being family involved just to hang out with them and do something fun. I will be trying to do more of that; catch up with friends just to hang out.
This year has been huge. According to what is described in this article, I burned out this year. When I look at what has happened, both positive and negative, personal and professional, I am not too surprised. I will be taking the summer break to reset. The work phone and laptop have both been turned off with out of office messages put in place and I do not return from annual leave until 22 January. I will be putting the phone down more and playing with Ms One more, taking her out to the beach, to the different parks and play centres, to see her cousins. And I want to try and do more social things with friends.
I hope you enjoy the summer and recharge, reconnect with friends and family, and forget about work for a while. It is hard, but we need to do it.